The Atlantic croaker is an important commercial and recreational species. In the 1940's, the foodfish catch of Atlantic croakers was concentrated in Chesapeake Bay; in the 1950's and early 1970's, the catch was concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico; and in the late 1970's, the catch was concentrated in the South Atlantic States (Wilk 1981). Industrial and recreational catches of Atlantic croakers have been concentrated in the Gulf of Mexico, where the Atlantic croaker is the most important species of bottomfish for industrial uses (Knudsen and Herke 1978), and has ranked first, second, or third in number caught by recreational anglers, depending on survey year (Nakamura 1981). Today, Virginia or Delaware is considered to be the northern extent of the species. During climatically warmer periods, such as the 1930's and 1940's, the croaker extended its range north at least to New York, where it was commercially fished. The southern extent of its range is Argentina.